Here is our guide to major events taking place this year, many of which you can participate in.
Sport and fun play an essential part in the everyday lives of Cook Islanders. There’s always something of interest taking place, be it sport, festivals, or celebratory events; plus there’s a multitude of sports codes and active clubs where you will always find a warm welcome.
COMING UP NEXT
24 June - Tropicana New Fashion Designers event at The Islander Hotel
8 July - Carnivale Costume Designers event at The Islander Hotel
14 July - Bastille Day at LBV Muri
22 July - Wearable Art, Swimsuit & Pareu competitions at the National Auditorium
23 July - Miss Cook Islands pre-pageant interviews at The Islander Hotel
29 July - Miss Cook Islands finalists interview and crowning at the National Auditorium
28 July to 5 August - Te Maeva Nui Constitution Celebrations (see below for details)
1 to 4 August - BCI Trade Days
21 to 25 August - Manureva Aquafest (see below for details)
21 to 27 September - Round Rarotonga Road Race (see below for details)
2017 EVENTS CALENDAR
15-22 April: Kia Orana Youth Football Festival
The Cook Islands Football Association (CIFA) this year launches its inaugural youth event for all interested clubs and schools who wish to play football in paradise. Held at the CIFA complex in Matavera.
21 April - 4 May: Te Mira Ura (Dancer of the Year competitions)
Poetry in motion! Dozens of dancers in three age groups, junior, intermediate and open, take to the stage individually to determine who will be the winner in their chosen category. Finals are then held in the National Auditorium in Rarotonga. This is always a fun and enlightening spectacle for visitors.
1 May – 4 May: Cook Islands Golden Oldies Rugby Festival
Returning again in 2017, this bi-annual event is a great excuse to meet up with old teammates and enjoy a holiday in our little paradise at the same time. Locals plus many visiting players enjoy a laugh both on and off the field.
11 May – 17 May: Air New Zealand International Triathlon Week
First run in 1995, this event sees many overseas athletes from as far away as Sweden competing alongside the locals. Day one starts with the infamous ‘boiler swim’ followed by a pasta party. As well as the triathlon the week features the Hash House Harriers Fun Run and Island Feast, the Turtles Tour de Raro Cycle Race and wraps up with the Matutu Mile Fun Run and sausage sizzle.
1 June – 3 June: Rarotonga Amateur Golf Open 2017
If you love to play golf, why not plan your holiday around this annual event organised by the Rarotonga Golf Club.
28 July – 5 August: Te Maeva Nui Constitution Celebrations
This week-long cultural marathon is held around the date of August 4th, which is the birthday of the Cook Islands as an independent nation. Big dance teams from different islands and districts challenge each other in vibrant competitions requiring energy and dedication. Held at the National Auditorium in Rarotonga, this is the cultural highlight of the Cook Islands year. See photo at top of this page.
21 August – 25 August: Manureva Aquafest (Aitutaki)
Some of the biggest names in kitesurfing and rank amateurs also, will head to Aitutaki for the annual Manureva Aquafest. This fun week-long event includes kiting, stand-up paddle boarding, outrigger canoeing and tons of other aquatic activities for all ages, in the most pristine of locations on Aitutaki’s stunning lagoon.
21 September – 27 September: Round Rarotonga Road Race
The Round Rarotonga Road Race is an annual week-long event which caters for everyone including families, social, recreational and seriously competitive. The main event is the 31km round the island road race, but there are also many less serious events happening during the week for recreational runners. Why not take the opportunity to combine this event with a holiday in our little paradise and visit the beaches too?
2 November – 4 November: Sevens in Heaven
Playing sport and having a good time is something Cook Islanders know how to do well. Attracting participating teams from far and wide, Sevens in Heaven has become one of the most popular 7’s competitions in the Pacific. It has also developed a real festival atmosphere.
24 November – 1 December: Vaka Eiva International Paddling Competition
Hundreds of paddlers and their supporters hit Rarotonga’s shores in November each year for Vaka Eiva, an outrigger canoeing festival that is now the largest sporting event in the Cook Islands. This is one of the few traditional Polynesian sports that has survived the test of time plus it has a strong cultural significance. There is an air of festivity on the island all week, from the opening ceremony, throughout the days of racing and social activities, to the wrap-up party at Trader Jacks.
30 November – 5 December: Netball in Paradise
Now in its 6th year, Netball in Paradise attracts teams from around the Pacific, Australia and New Zealand for week-long competitions, from under 13 age grade upwards. This fun week of games and camaraderie provides a good excuse for a family holiday.
All events take place on Rarotonga, unless stated otherwise.
Dates and events are provided courtesy of Cook Islands Tourism Corporation but are subject to change without notice. We will do our best to update this page as information comes to hand, but we do recommend confirming event dates with the Visitor Information Centre – phone (+682) 29435, or by email: email@example.com